Tarrant County Public Health is reporting 488 additional cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, sending the county's total number of cases above 50,000, along with four new deaths.
Of the 488 additional cases reported Tuesday, data from the county health department indicates 447 cases are confirmed while the other 41 are probable cases.
The county began reporting both probable and confirmed cases in August at the request of the state health department. Probable cases, the county said, account for a variety of real-world situations and could highlight cases in the community that may otherwise go unreported. To date, the county has reported 46,527 confirmed cases of the virus and 3,530 probable cases for a total of 50,057 cases.
The latest victims of the pandemic include a man and woman from Fort Worth in their 60s and two men from Fort Worth in their 50s. Two of the individuals had underlying health conditions.
COVID-19 TRACKING u0026amp; TESTING
The county is urging those contacted for contact tracing to answer the call, saying only about 51% of people contacted have responded.
"We must continue to protect our family and friends from COVID-19 until a vaccine is released and widely available,” said Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley. “If you or a family member is sick with COVID-19, please respond to Public Health calls and text messages. They are working to reduce the number of potentially sick people walking the virus around our county.”
The county is also reporting another 163 estimated recoveries, bringing the total number of survivors to 43,636. There are currently an estimated 5,764 active cases in the county.
Of the county's cases, 71% of those who have died were over the age of 65 even though they only make up 10% of the cases. Those aged 25 to 44 make up the largest percentage of people with COVID-19 at 37%.
The health department reports 301 COVID-19 patients are currently occupying hospital beds in the county -- about 8% of capacity and an increase over the last few days. A month ago, on Aug. 29 COVID-19 patients occupied about 7% of Tarrant County hospital beds.
“Our residents bent the curve in the early days of COVID-19. That permanently changed the course of the pandemic in our community and we need to continue that effort forward in order to help our struggling businesses fully open sooner. Please wear a mask, wash your hands and maintain a safe social distance so that we can all enjoy normal when it returns,” Whitley said.
The TCPH said the growth of COVID-19 has changed the mortality of Tarrant County. In seven months, 657 residents have died compared to 167 deaths on Tarrant County highways in 2019. COVID-19 is now projected to be the third leading killer of our residents behind cancer and heart disease and is expected to surpass the annual total for stroke later this year.
With the recent changes to their reporting system, Tarrant County Public Health said changes have also been made to their online dashboard, most notably to the Case Counts tab and Cases by Location tab. The Case Counts tab now includes cases reported by week, including both probable and confirmed, while the Cases by Location tab includes a map showing the 30-day average infection rate by ZIP code.